"The investment is a good fit for our strategy to concentrate more on distinct specialty chemicals businesses and to gradually create a more balanced portfolio," said Christian Kullmann, chairman of the Evonik Executive Board. Silica are part of “Smart Materials”, one of Evonik’s four strategic growth engines with above-average market growth and margin potential. "With this investment in the silica business, which has low cyclicality, we are consistently following our growth course and solidifying our position as a leading global provider. Following the planned takeover of the Huber silica business and the continuous expansion of precipitated silica capacity, the AEROSIL expansion in Antwerp is the next logical step," Kullmann noted. With this investment Evonik is executing a further project within the scope of its defined investment budget.
The global market for fumed silica shows growth rates exceeding 4 percent, which outpaces the global economy as a whole. The market for applications in specialty silicones, adhesives for wind turbines and in the area of non-flammable high-performance insulation is posting above-average development. "By expanding our capacities in Antwerp, we want to support the market growth for fumed silica in Europe and other important export markets, while at the same time boosting our integrated European
Based on the new AEROSIL expansion, Evonik will be able to supply customers not only with hydrophilic but also hydrophobic silica from Antwerp in the future. A modernization of the silane capacity is intended to secure the raw material supply for the AEROSIL production as well as for silanes used in tire production. AEROSIL is generated as fumed silica from the high temperature hydrolysis of silanes in a hydrogen flame.